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Figolli - Maltese Easter Treat

Figolli are made of a soft almond filling sandwiched between two large lemon and orange flavoured biscuits covered with a layer of royal icing or chocolate.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Maltese
Keyword: Easter
Servings: 5 Large

Ingredients

Dough

  • 550 g plain flour (4 2/3 cups)
  • 225 g cold butter (1 cup)
  • 150 g caster sugar (2/3 cup)
  • zest of one lemon
  • zest of one orange
  • juice of one orange
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Almond filling

  • 300 g ground almonds (3 cups)
  • 300 g icing sugar (3 cups)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tsp almond essence
  • zest of one lemon

Decoration

  • 300 g chocolate dark/milk/white (2 cups)
  • sprinkles
  • chopped nuts

Instructions

Preparation of the dough and almond filling

  • In a large bowl mix the flour and the cubed butter to a crumbly mixture. Add all the remaining ingredients except the juice of an orange, and mix well. Slowly start adding the juice and combine until a smooth soft dough is formed. Wrap in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for an hour.
  • For the almond filling, add all the ingredients together and mix well to get a paste. Do the same as before, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for an hour.

Baking the Figolli

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it's 2 cm thick (do not go thinner than 1 cm). With the figolli cutter, cut the dough into the shapes you have and place them on the sheet of parchment paper, leaving some space between one another.
  • Place a generous layer of the almond filling on the dough. Cover the almond filling with another piece of dough with the same shape and seal well the sides.
  • Bake the figolla for about 30 minutes or until lightly golden as this depends on how big the figolla is.
  • When the figolli are cooked, first let them rest on the baking tray before moving them to a cooling rack as this may cause the figolla to break. After some minutes, transfer to a cooling rack to let them completely cool. It is best to let them rest for a while or even wait until the following day before decorating them.

Decoration

  • Decorate the figolli with melted chocolate (or royal icing) and the toppings you like. Be creative as much as you like!
  • Let set completely and enjoy!

Notes

Be generous with the filling as it is the main protagonist of the figolla!
Remember that it is very important that you don't roll the dough too thin, as it is quite fragile and can break easily.
If you make smaller shaped figolli, be careful with the cooking time as this may need to be decreased. 
Store the figolli in a cool dry place in a container or wrapped in cling film, and they can last for several weeks.